Homebrew: Majic Fresh-Hop Apricot Pale Ale 2011

2011 saw our first real hop harvest. Gifted a Sterling hop rhizome from a friend, we’d lovingly tended it in the garden. Planted pretty much in the middle of the back yarden, our Sterling produced its first hops in 2010. About a dozen cones. Not much… but it’s a start. Then in summer 2011, our … Read more

Homebrew: Majic Pale Apricot Ale 2009

Oh Magic Hat #9, your hoppy apricotiness seduces me every time. First slipped some by East Coast friends who’d brought some out West (sadly, Magic Hat doesn’t distribute out here yet), Jodie and I were enthralled by this fun, easy-drinking beer. So much so, that for 2009 Jodie asked for a Magic Hat #9 homebrew … Read more

Going back to Clifden, Ireland

At least, one of my characters is. For me, I spent a few wonderful days in Clifden in 2000. (Turns out a couple of my old BootsnAll write-ups about that time are still out there, too: Ireland on a Working Visa #18 | BootsnAll Travel Articles – “The Eighth Wonder of the World: Clifden, Part … Read more

Eugene beer events Saturday, Feb. 25

Want a taste of the Good Life? The volcanos of the Cascades apparently no longer erupt with lava but with breweries. That’s the only conclusion I can draw, anyway, given how many breweries keep popping up in Bend, right in the ol’ shadow of the mountains to the east. At The Bier Stein this Saturday … Read more

Homemade champagne vinegar

DIY vinegar After our wedding in 2009, we had a few bottles of bubbly left over. Some were enjoyed. Some were forgotten. The forgotten ones weren’t stored properly, so the wine wasn’t exactly the most appetizing to drink. Then it hit me: wine vinegar costs a ridiculous amount of money. I have 3 bottles of … Read more

Jay: Fried bugs in Siem Reap, Cambodia

After a few Angkor beers with the folks at the hostel, next thing I knew we were at this outdoor festival. It was just like the state fairs back home. At least, it would have been if Idaho state fairs had kids eating snakes coiled like lollipops on a stick. The sun had just gone … Read more

Travel fantasy stories: new Rucksack Press blog

Road trip! Travel fantasy stories from Rucksack Press ยป When it comes to globetrotting, you can always do with a good book. After all, when you’re riding a rickety bus around windy mountain roads for 10 hours, a good book can at least keep your mind off whether or not you’ll go from a slow … Read more

2 great books for beer and travel

I confess with glee: many of my travel plans revolve around beer. A brewery tour, a renown brewpub, you name it. From the XXXX brewery tour in Brisbane, Australia, to a smashing beer-matched dinner at Vancouver, BC’s Alibi Room, if I do make plans for a trip, those plans usually have something to do with … Read more

Falling Sky opens. Is it Eugene’s best brewpub?

When life gives you rain… brew beer Falling Sky, Eugene’s newest brewery and brewpub, makes me want to go out for a beer more often. It’s comfortable, airy and family-friendly. The fries are excellent. And there’s no feckin’ TV or blaring music to make me want to split my head open with a maul. Plus, … Read more

What is the Rucksack Universe?

Many moons ago (also known as 2003), I was between lives: working at home, traveling abroad, repeat. Much was in flux. Much is a blur. But I know one thing for certain. The Rucksack Universe was born on an early-morning bike commute, when the idea for a fantastically realistic novel about a globetrotting traveler blazed … Read more